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Suzie

Any Classical Music Lovers Out There?

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Bach encompasses a whole lot of goodness. This beautiful and popular air was actually the second of five movements for Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major. But Bach is surely much better known today for his organ music and specifically for his fugues, the most popular today of which must certainly be the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. I have been told that this is because it was a popular piece of music for early 20th-century horror movies. I don't guarantee the veracity of that information; believe at your own risk. In any case.

Ironically, it's the "toccata" part that is so famous, ostensibly because of the "horror" feeling attached to it. I don't think it's horrific, but I wasn't born in 1920, so what do I know? If you (plural "you", not specifically Suzie, who doubtless has listened to this piece a lot) haven't listened to this piece much, I urge you to listen to it all the way through, after the completion of the toccata at 2:41 in the recording below, when the fugue begins. It's a fun and pretty little fugue that picks up steam several minutes in. The ending is really powerful. All in all, a great piece of music, an enrichment for the human race thanks to a modest and God-fearing German born in 1685 and who died 26 years before the American colonies declared their independence.

 

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I don't know why, but I get a huge kick out of remixed classical pieces with heavy techno or bass tracks added.   

 

Also, just about anything remixed as an orchestral piece.

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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I have been told that this is because it was a popular piece of music for early 20th-century horror movies.

Vort, I think it was used in the 1920's adaptation of "The Phantom of the Opera" and a few other films.

I don't know why, but I get a huge kick out of remixed classical pieces with heavy techno or bass tracks added.   

Generally speaking, I don't like remixed classical pieces but the ones you shared are quite good!

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2 hours ago, Vort said:

Bach encompasses a whole lot of goodness. This beautiful and popular air was actually the second of five movements for Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major. But Bach is surely much better known today for his organ music and specifically for his fugues, the most popular today of which must certainly be the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. I have been told that this is because it was a popular piece of music for early 20th-century horror movies. I don't guarantee the veracity of that information; believe at your own risk. In any case.

Ironically, it's the "toccata" part that is so famous, ostensibly because of the "horror" feeling attached to it. I don't think it's horrific, but I wasn't born in 1920, so what do I know? If you (plural "you", not specifically Suzie, who doubtless has listened to this piece a lot) haven't listened to this piece much, I urge you to listen to it all the way through, after the completion of the toccata at 2:41 in the recording below, when the fugue begins. It's a fun and pretty little fugue that picks up steam several minutes in. The ending is really powerful. All in all, a great piece of music, an enrichment for the human race thanks to a modest and God-fearing German born in 1685 and who died 26 years before the American colonies declared their independence.

 

If you’re ever in SLC again, try to catch a silent movie at The Organ Loft.  They have a theatrical organ that they use to accompany old silent films.  The experience is . . . remarkable.

Amy Turk transcribed the toccata and fugue (the whole thing) for the harp, and put the video on YouTube.  You wouldn’t think a harpist could pull off a piece like that . . . but she does.

I understand it was considered to be kind of lowbrow at the time it was composed; but I’ve liked this piece ever since I heard it in “Master and Commander” (and I heard the portion starting at 6:52 played as a recessional at a wedding in an Episcopal church I attended a few years back).

Also Beethoven’s 7th, though I think of a stammering Colin Firth every time I hear it:

 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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@Just_A_Guy, I don't normally think of a harp as a fugal instrument, like I do an organ, or a piano, or an ensemble or orchestra. But she does a wonderful (and beautiful) job of it.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is not my favorite Baroque piece, or even my favorite Bach piece. (Bach had an incredible range and versatility within the Baroque tradition.) But the Toccata, as some call it, is widely recognized and, I think, musically undervalued.

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JAG, beautiful pieces.

Amy Turk transcribed the toccata and fugue (the whole thing) for the harp, and put the video on YouTube.  You wouldn’t think a harpist could pull off a piece like that . . . but she does.

Pure talent, hard to believe she can pull this off playing a harp!!

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Pachelbel's Canon in D Minor has to be mentioned, if for nothing else than that many classical music purists love to complain how awful it is. It's especially appropriate for this thread because it's another Baroque piece, contemporaneous with Bach (a fellow German).

I discovered this particular piece on my mission in Italy in probably 1983, where I was allowed to own and listen to music only as long as that music was (a) LDS hymns, (b) sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or (c) "classical" music, which meant any orchestral or piano/organ-based music without words, and preferably composed at least a hundred years ago. I don't remember ever having heard this music before then. I bought it quite accidentally; it was included on a tape of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It captivated me.

A fugue is a contrapuntal (that is, one that uses counterpoint) musical arrangement with several voices, where each voice sings/plays a theme, with variations on that theme throughout. My understanding is that a canonical fugue, or canon, is a type of fugue where each voice strictly imitates the preceding voice. Think of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". (Before the term "canon" came into common usage, it was called a fuga legata or "tied fugue", meaning all the voices in the fugue were strictly tied together.) Canons also often use a basso continuo, a deep musical voice that does not follow the first canonical voice (called the leader). A canon of this type is called an "accompanied canon", for obvious reasons.

Pachelbel's Canon is an accompanied canon with three voices, all of which are violins, plus a basso continuo that is usually either an organ or a cello. (I think it was written for an organ.) That's kind of unusual to have three violins, because normally the various voices use different instruments. If you keep in mind the idea of what a canon really is, it's easy to pick out how the leader plays its own lines, how the second voice repeats exactly what the leader played but two measures behind, and how the third voice then imitates the second voice two more measures behind it (four measures behind the leader). You have a line of musical phrase that harmonizes beautifully with itself when offset by multiples of two measures. I realize that I'm a rube, musically speaking, but to me that's just mind-blowing. It's some kind of miracle.

Ignore the haters that like to bag on Pachelbel's Canon. Just enjoy the beautiful, relaxing ride.

 

Edited by Vort

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My favourite composer is probably Ralph Vaughan Williams. He was a hymn(music) writer as well as a well-known composer in his time. He wrote a few symphonies and many smaller pieces. The Lark Ascending--is a very hopeful piece of music.

 

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I've seen various Youtube videos of this pianist.  I thought she was very good.  But I went about my merry way.

I recently saw a video commenting on her.  I had no idea she was a living legend.  Apparently there are some pieces she plays that only a few people in the world can play at a concert level.  And she has been doing so for almost 60 years.  The very definition of a virtuoso.

And she also speaks 5 or 6 languages.

Martha Argerich:  Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

Edited by Carborendum

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7 hours ago, Suzie said:

Loving this extraordinary piece.

 

 I love the harmonies on this piece; the product is exquisitely lovely.

One of the interesting things about opera is that a lot of songs turn out to be (lyrically) not nearly so highbrow, and even at times rather unimaginative when translated into English.  This is one of them (as I understand it they’re basically saying “come down into the pond and swim with us” over and over, or somesuch thing).  Habanera is another of those songs (link below, conducted by the matchless Gustavo Dudamel, whose hair I could watch all day):  https://youtu.be/f1mRlTJiJH4

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 I love the harmonies on this piece; the product is exquisitely lovely. 

One of the interesting things about opera is that a lot of songs turn out to be (lyrically) not nearly so highbrow, and even at times rather unimaginative when translated into English.  This is one of them (as I understand it they’re basically saying “come down into the pond and swim with us” over and over, or somesuch thing).

This is my favorite part, my eyes water when I hear it... so profound and moving  :

Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

Basically, yes Lakmé and her servant Mallika are picking up flowers as they get ready for a bath in the river. I think it is Lakmé who describes the beauty of nature which surrounds them , particularly beautiful flowers such as roses, jasmine and the like. I love this piece, it is such an elegant aria!

Habanera is another of those songs (link below, conducted by the matchless Gustavo Dudamel, whose hair I could watch all day)

YES! I love this piece (did you hear Maria Callas' version? Unbeatable!). Gustavo's hair is always distracting to me. He needs to shave it off.

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19 minutes ago, Suzie said:

 I love the harmonies on this piece; the product is exquisitely lovely. 

One of the interesting things about opera is that a lot of songs turn out to be (lyrically) not nearly so highbrow, and even at times rather unimaginative when translated into English.  This is one of them (as I understand it they’re basically saying “come down into the pond and swim with us” over and over, or somesuch thing).

This is my favorite part, my eyes water when I hear it... so profound and moving  :

Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l’onde frémissante
D’une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L’oiseau, l’oiseau chante.

Basically, yes Lakmé and her servant Mallika are picking up flowers as they get ready for a bath in the river. I think it is Lakmé who describes the beauty of nature which surrounds them , particularly beautiful flowers such as roses, jasmine and the like. I love this piece, it is such an elegant aria!

Habanera is another of those songs (link below, conducted by the matchless Gustavo Dudamel, whose hair I could watch all day)

YES! I love this piece (did you hear Maria Callas' version? Unbeatable!). Gustavo's hair is always distracting to me. He needs to shave it off.

I just found a YouTube clip of a concert she did in Hamburg where she sang it.  It seems like a much "lighter" performance (in a good way--less sultry, more playfulness).

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10 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

I just found a YouTube clip of a concert she did in Hamburg where she sang it.  It seems like a much "lighter" performance (in a good way--less sultry, more playfulness).

Yes, the whole piece has that sultry-tone to it due to the story itself.

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